Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10

Emotions dictate policies

Years ago we lived through the horrors of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. Most Americans at that time were willing to do anything and everything necessary to prevent a similar incident.

One profound and direct effect of those attacks was the creation of the Patriot Act. The intention of the Patriot Act was to permit highly-trained people access to any and all forms of personal information in order to uncover plots to create another attack like 9/11. The time surrounding 9/11 was filled with emotional turmoil, fear and anger for many Americans. Those emotions may have clouded our thought process when we permitted this piece of legislation to pass so overwhelmingly.

We have now been safe from a similar attack for more than a decade and many are questioning the intent and real-time function of the Patriot Act, particularly with all the media coverage of Edward Snowden, the “traitor” from the NSA. As Mr. Mays (Data Might Have Helped 8/3 issue) correctly stated, the Boston Marathon bombers were American citizens. Imagine what may have occurred had we been listening to them a month before the marathon.

I am fortunate enough not to do or say anything which the NSA might find disconcerting. In fact, they are more than welcome to listen or read anything I do or say. I wonder what others are doing which they find such a need to protect?

We live in a different world in 2013. Don’t think for a minute your personal information is safe from intruders with or without the Patriot Act. It just isn’t so.

Steve Kaplan

Hood River

A thankless duty

Those who oppose Mayor Arthur Babitz or other members of the city council should take full opportunity to vote for people more to their liking at the next election. But there should be no question that whomever we elect has a duty to us, however thankless it may be, for setting policy and seeing that it is executed by city employees. If that were not the case then there would be little point in voting at all.

Tad McGeer

Hood River

Price behind guns

“Price for a Life” in the Aug. 3 paper was an intense glimpse into some of the problems with our neighboring country to the south.

Thankfully Jose Villa is safe and home in the USA. When I read about the banditos brandishing AK 47s in the back of the pickup and forcing Jose to pull over it made me wonder what would happen on a rural interstate in the western United States if they did the same. They likely would be confronted by an armed US citizen with a more lethal and accurate weapon than a worn out AK 47.

Seems to me that in Mexico, where a private citizen cannot bring a weapon out of the home and only law enforcement (which may or may not be on the take), drug cartels and kidnappers have guns, that gun control isn’t really keeping all the innocent people safe.

Jeff McNerney

Hood River

Celilo Center appreciated

Dear Celilo Cancer Center: From myself in particular, and from the community in general, we stand in awe and wonder at your brilliant physicians and staff who mend and extend our most precious possessions, our lives.

Bob Nippolt

Hood River

Learn about health centers

This week (Aug.11-17) is National Health Center Week, and the Gorge should be proud to have its own community health center — with sites in Hood River and The Dalles, serving members of Hood River, Wasco, Skamania and Klickitat Counties. Like other federally-supported health centers, One Community Health (formerly known as La Clinica del Cariño) makes the costs of care affordable, with the quality of care as good as any one finds in private practices – and studies prove it. You get treated with dignity and respect by a team of highly trained, caring professionals focused on preventing costly illness and disease before they happen. That means better health, fewer hospital ER visits, and consumers, taxpayers, and governments save money.

Health centers are helping to transform health care delivery through primary care and prevention, one patient at a time. Health centers are rooted in local communities, with community board members who volunteer their time and energy. We depend on local support to thrive. Please support your local health center, visit our website www.onecommunityhealth.org, send us any questions (through rsynder@onecommunityhealth.org) and learn for yourself why health centers are such a good prescription for our nation’s health.

John Jessup, RN, Chair, Board of Directors, One Community Health and 12 fellow Board members

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I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"

‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge

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